Digital exam on BYOD, with remote surveillance

Posted by Natasa Brouwer, on Oct. 5, 2021, 3:04 p.m.



Numerical recipes Project, BA Computer Science

Name lecturer

André Heck


Guusje Smit, Project leader Surveillance on distance

Situation before the intervention

The test exam and final exam were designed in the assessment application SOWISO. Students were used to working with this application and the lecturer wanted to test if online surveillance could be used during the exams.


Type of exam
Two digital exams in SOWISO; a test exam and the final exam.

Type of Surveillance
The students made the exams in a lecture room, on their own laptop, with ProctorExam Light. The group was divided over three lecture rooms.

Number of students
Test exam: 77 enrolled, 66 completed Check Requirement, 60 completed exam
Final exam: 77 enrolled, 56 completed Check Requirement, 56 completed exam

Number of incidents
Test exam: 15 incidents*
Final exam: 1 incident

*Because of an error, the time of the exam was set on 3 minutes, this caused some problems at the beginning of the test exam.

Reason to choose for surveillance on distance

Reason 1: it is practical. André started teaching in the BA Psychobiology, where he teaches a class of 250 students. For a large group as this, digitalising the exam is great solution to manage the workload. But, he wanted to try remote surveillance in a smaller group first. So he decided to apply it to the Numerical Recipes Project exam.

Reason 2: It was possible to use remote surveillance, because the exam was randomized. The chance that they could copy from each other or share information, was very small.

It fitted well with the laptop lecture he had organized. Actually, it was the same setting during the exam. Students did not have to travel for the exam. They could do it on their own laptop and it was actually quite logical, because it fitted in with the laptop college. The advantage is that you know that everything is working. The students are used to working with the system. It produces more stress when you do the test in a completely different setting.



Positive points:

He did not have high expectations. There is only one screen is recorded, so you can quickly see if a student does something. It is easy to organize and because the questions are randomized, it is extra safe. There was also a security guard in the hall. There were 20 students per hall did the examination.

We can basically conclude that no fraud was committed. This corresponds to his expectations. For the future, it is not possible to be too positive, fraud is still possible.

The exam was graded in in half the time

Point of attention:

He did not know in advance how the proctor system looked for the student. This can be useful for a teacher to know, so he can answer the questions of the student.


Positive points:

André was confident that it would go well, because the communication during the preparation was good. We are in close contact with ProctorExam, so changing something goes smoothly. It is a small group, so there was certainty that it would work out. In the BA Psychobiology it will be different, then there will be 250 students.

It is good that it is possible to set the start-time and end-time for the exam in the ProctorExam system. Students can also start later. This makes it flexible. In the digital exam room this is not possible. For example, a student started later because of the noon prayer. This is otherwise not possible.

Points of attention:

All students in one room would be easier. Now something went wrong at the start of the first exam, which we had to solve in three rooms.

He was not aware of the procedure during the exam. What do the students have to do for the online surveillance? What would they see? Is there only a plugin needed? More information in advance for the teacher would be appreciated.

There is uncertainty whether a student may refuse to participate in a digital exam. The question is whether there are students who suffer disadvantages with digital exams.

After the exam

The reporting of the surveillance can be better. As a teacher you want to know whether fraud was committed. You want to be informed about the incidents and look at the video’s when an incident occurred, before you make the grades public. Preferably within 2 or 3 days after the exam, you must have a full rapport. If there is a fraud case, then it is necessary to store the video, so that we van investigate what has happened.

Your handwriting can make grading of the exam more difficult, and typing is faster.
You'll get your grade very quick
The exam cannot be too long, because you have to set up the online surveillance.

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